Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies
MSDN & TechNet: Releasing Office, SharePoint, Exchange & Lync Centers and content for developers and IT professionals.

September, 2006

  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 Second Edition is here!


    Microsoft announced today the release of the Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 Second Edition!

    Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System (Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition Beta, or VSTO 2005 SE Beta for short) is a free add-on to Visual Studio 2005 that empowers developers to build applications targeting the 2007 Office system. Developers can now harness the benefits of the 2007 Office system platform and create Office-based solutions using the professional development environment of Visual Studio 2005.

    Anyone who has a licensed version of Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office or Visual Studio Professional and above (either standalone versions or via an MSDN Premium or Professional subscription) is eligible to download a free copy of VSTO 2005 SE Beta.  

    You can download it for free and start playing around with the new features. I love that you have more project templates for Office Add-ins than in previous releases. Specially, if you are interested in developing solutions with the Ribbon or Custom Task Panes and other Office 2007 features, I would strongly recommend you to download the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System Beta.

    We also launched today a new MSDN page for the VSTO 2005 SE release where we will publish more articles related to the latest VSTO release.

    Check out the latest ones:

    Get a Hands-On Introduction to VSTO 2005 SE
    Get an Inside Look at VSTO 2005 SE Design

    Read Paul Stubbs's blog for more news.




  • Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies

    Office Development Bloggers OPML


    I have been experimenting with Outlook 2007 RSS Feeds and Windows Live. I have been adding a bunch of RSS feeds for the most popular blogs related to Office, SharePoint, and VSTO. I have to say it… I am surprised to see so many people devoted to blog about Office, at some point it looked like I was trying to stress-test Outlook while adding RSS feeds! I added ~60 RSS feeds and I thought it would be awesome if I could export my feeds to OPML, so I started playing around and discovered Outlook 2007 allows you to export your RSS Feeds and save them as an OPML file. Here's how…

    How-to export a collection of RSS Feeds in Outlook 2007

    You can export a collection of your RSS Feeds to an .opml file and then import from that file to another computer that you or someone else uses. This is a great way to share a collection of RSS Feeds with someone else or to make a backup of your RSS Feeds settings.

    You can choose which RSS Feeds to include in the exported .opml file.

    1. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
    2. Click Export RSS Feeds to an OPML file, and then click Next.
    3. Select the check boxes for each RSS Feed to include in the export.
    4. Click Next.
    5. Click Browse to navigate to the location where you want to save the .opml file.
    6. In the File name text box, type a name for the export file.
    7. Click Save, and then click Next.

      The .opml file is saved

    What is OPML?

    OPML stands for Outline Processing Markup Language. OPML is a standard that defines a set of XML elements and attributes to create outlines.

    Outlines can be used for specifications, legal briefs, product plans, presentations, screenplays, directories, diaries, discussion groups, chat systems and stories.

    In a nutshell, an OPML file has the following structure:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <opml version="1.0">
    <title>OPML exported from Outlook</title>
    <dateCreated>Mon, 11 Sep 2006 18:04:15 -0700</dateCreated>
    <dateModified>Mon, 11 Sep 2006 18:04:15 -0700</dateModified>
      text="A discussion of what's new in Access 2007 (formerly "Access 12")"
    ="rss" xmlUrl=""/>
    outline text="Microsoft Excel 2007 (nee Excel 12)" type="rss"
    outline text="Office Rocker!" type="rss"
    outline text="doncampbell's weblog" type="rss"
    outline text="Doug Mahugh" type="rss"

    So why would you need OPML? Well, you can use it to share your RSS feeds with other people. OPML is one of those tech goodies inspired in the philosophy: knowledge is common wealth. Or if you are selfish, you can use it in your own benefit and add your OPML to other RSS feed reader tools.

    Read more about the OPML spec here.

    How-to import your OPML to Windows Live

    A cool place to read RSS feeds is Windows Live. No matter where you are, you can logon to Windows Live and read your favorite RSS feeds by importing your OPML file. Michael Coates tells you how.

    I followed the steps and found all my RSS feeds under "My Stuff", so now I can add Office Bloggers to my Windows Live site J.

    So, since I am not selfish, you can download my Office Development Bloggers OPML here (see attachment), and soon you will find it as a download on MSDN.



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